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Is Warren Gatland the right coach for the Lions?

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Is Warren Gatland the right coach for the Lions? Empty Is Warren Gatland the right coach for the Lions?

Post by Pot Hale Mon 19 Mar 2012 - 16:10

He's a Kiwi. He's touchy. He's grumpy. And he's managed to get Wales to a semi-final in the RWC and to the top of the 6 Nations tree in 2012.

He's the only coach that the British & Irish Lions managment are likely to select since they said it would be based on 6N form.

Welsh players like and respect him. But would he get the same response from Scottish, English and Irish players to bind them into a Lions team that can compete and win next year in Australia?

[Edit]

To clarify, I'm not questioning as to whether he'll get time off from the WRU - they've already said they will accommodate him.

I'm not questioning the fact that he's a foreign coach (the Kiwi comments was intended as a joke). He's got the best creds of the 6 Nations coaches, with probably Lancaster the second best given 6N results.

The question is whether he has the ability as Head Coach - and the guy who'll make the final call on the touring party - to get the British and Irish Lions to cohere and compete as a team. Does he command sufficient respect and can he get buy-in from players from other nations besides Wales?


Last edited by Pot Hale on Mon 19 Mar 2012 - 18:06; edited 2 times in total (Reason for editing : Clarification)
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Post by asoreleftshoulder Mon 19 Mar 2012 - 16:19

I think he'd do a decent job but I don't think he should do it if he's still coaching Wales,it's just a huge conflict of interests.

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Post by eirebilly Mon 19 Mar 2012 - 16:20

Why would the Scottish, English and Irish players not respect him in the same way as the Welsh?
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Post by maestegmafia Mon 19 Mar 2012 - 16:21

He was a coach on the last lions tour too.

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Post by Cardiff Taffy Mon 19 Mar 2012 - 16:24

He's got a clause in his Wales contract that allows him a sabatical, I believe during contract negotiations they were calling it "family time" in reality it coincides with the Lions tour and everyone knows full well what it's really for.

When (not if) it's announced that Gats will manage the Lions the Welsh fans will be very interested to hear who's managing Wales! On Scrum V last night they suggested Howley might take the reins in the next 6N as Gats will be off doing the Lions job.

As a Lions fan I want Gats to get the nod but as a Wales fan I do not.

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Post by asoreleftshoulder Mon 19 Mar 2012 - 16:25

maestegmafia wrote:He was a coach on the last lions tour too.

Head coach is different,if a player wasn't picked last time he can tell them he fought for them but was overruled by the top man.He can't say that as head coach.

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Post by HERSH Mon 19 Mar 2012 - 16:28

I can't see anyone else getting it, but it will cause problems for Gats once the tour is over and some players who don't get selected to tour or play spit their dummies out.

I'm all for it. Whistle
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Post by RubyGuby Mon 19 Mar 2012 - 16:30

I don't think the Lions should have a foreign coach and I think it really devalues it further if the likes of Botha and Barritt et al go. British my axx - what a laughing stock we'd be Laugh

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Post by glamorganalun Mon 19 Mar 2012 - 16:34

I believe the coach to lead the Lions should come from one of the home Countries and not NZ, Aus or SA. I also believe players originating from not British and I Countries should also be excluded and keep the team as the Lions and not watered down Barbarian team. I don't have a problem with players etc born in other Countries to British and I parents.

A coach like Mike Ruddock would be my idea of a good candidate who coached Wales, Ireland U20's and coached in England so should be acceptable to the majority of players etc .

I think if Gatland gets the job he will be in an difficult situation and could be called bias by picking lots of Welsh players and could undermining the squad of "us and them" just like G Henry's Aust Lions with the likes of Dawson and Healey types in the squad.


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Post by Notch Mon 19 Mar 2012 - 16:34

YES!

Get him out of Wales for a whole season! I'm dreaming of that Hug

Seriously don't see the value in these parochial arguments over the coaches nationality. If he can coach a home nation, he can coach the Lions. Simple as that. Remember the Lions is already the combination of two distinct nations, and four (or even five) countries. It's actually more of an international concept than our individual nations teams.

Besides- who better to go to over how to beat the Aussies than a Kiwi?

He's the right man for the job, and the prospect of an inferior coach coming into the Welsh national team is just a massive silver lining for the rest of us Whistle


Last edited by Notch on Mon 19 Mar 2012 - 16:40; edited 2 times in total
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Post by HERSH Mon 19 Mar 2012 - 16:38

RubyGuby wrote:I don't think the Lions should have a foreign coach and I think it really devalues it further if the likes of Botha and Barritt et al go. British my axx - what a laughing stock we'd be Laugh

Not that old chestnut again, People have been moving around since the human race could walk upright, check some of the Welsh players passports to see where they were born!

I just don't get why people have a problem with this? Headscratch
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Post by Comfort Mon 19 Mar 2012 - 16:40

No. Not if hes coaching Wales. And I dread the day I see howley 'taking the reigns' of the Wales team.... Sad

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Post by majesticimperialman Mon 19 Mar 2012 - 16:46

I dont mind Gatland being the lions coach, but i would hope he does not turn out like SCW when he lead the B+I Lions, and picked mainly English players.

He should pick players that are on top form, and not just from the nation that the coach comes from.

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Post by eirebilly Mon 19 Mar 2012 - 16:52

asoreleftshoulder wrote:
maestegmafia wrote:He was a coach on the last lions tour too.

Head coach is different,if a player wasn't picked last time he can tell them he fought for them but was overruled by the top man.He can't say that as head coach.

Somehow Mr Gatland does not come across as a person that would use that kind of cop out. I thik that he is a fairly straight talker.
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Post by RubyGuby Mon 19 Mar 2012 - 16:53

The problem is Majestic that most of the welsh players are on form thumbsup
Maybe we should have a coaching team made up of all the home nations for example, Ruddock, Toby Booth, Connor O'shea and Townsend would be an interesting combo. thumbsup

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Post by Notch Mon 19 Mar 2012 - 16:54

Townsend is... he has a less than impressive CV so far.
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Post by RubyGuby Mon 19 Mar 2012 - 16:55

I know Notch I just couldn't think of the Glos coach so shoved him in there, Redpath perhaps Doh

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Post by Shifty Mon 19 Mar 2012 - 17:14

Gatland has got 3 months off when Wales tour Japan.

I hope Gatland doesn't get the job because it hurt us badly in 2001 when Henry took the job, a lot of players believed in Henry, and when they weren't picked for the tour, and then many who did make the tour were not for the test team, and they lost confidence in him too.

How can Gatland tell the Welsh players they can be the best in the World, then most will find out their not even the best in Britain and Ireland?

Gatland of course will want the job because it puts him 1 step closer to the All Blacks job in the longer term.

I think it's a huge mistake for him to be coach. The Lions should take a club coach.


Last edited by AlynDavies on Mon 19 Mar 2012 - 17:42; edited 1 time in total
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Post by Biltong Mon 19 Mar 2012 - 17:17

RubyGuby wrote:I don't think the Lions should have a foreign coach and I think it really devalues it further if the likes of Botha and Barritt et al go. British my axx - what a laughing stock we'd be Laugh

I don't think they are good enough either way.
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Post by majesticimperialman Mon 19 Mar 2012 - 17:37

RubyGuby wrote:The problem is Majestic that most of the welsh players are on form thumbsup
Maybe we should have a coaching team made up of all the home nations for example, Ruddock, Toby Booth, Connor O'shea and Townsend would be an interesting combo. thumbsup


Ruby, Most of the Welsh players are on form NOW, and the B+I Lions is not being picked just NOW. ok. thumbsup

I am on about when it is time to select the B+I playing squad. ok thumbsup

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Post by Taylorman Mon 19 Mar 2012 - 17:40

Gatland will get good first hand knowledge of Oz during the summer series and if he manages to win that...well, hes a shoe in.

And as a neutral in terms of his nationality, he'd be able to be just that while on tour.

Oz have a tendency to lose enough matches outside SANZAR that the Lions could push them.

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Post by Taylorman Mon 19 Mar 2012 - 17:47

Bring it on Gatland...:

http://www.allblacks.com/news/18862/Gatland-wants-SANZAR-scalps

At least he's motivated. Hansen will be taking note given 2015 I believe is still up for grabs...

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Post by Pot Hale Mon 19 Mar 2012 - 18:11

Taylorman wrote:Gatland will get good first hand knowledge of Oz during the summer series and if he manages to win that...well, hes a shoe in.

And as a neutral in terms of his nationality, he'd be able to be just that while on tour.

Oz have a tendency to lose enough matches outside SANZAR that the Lions could push them.

The decision will be made before the June tours. Likely to be announced in next few weeks.
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Post by SecretFly Mon 19 Mar 2012 - 18:28

Coach of the best side in Europe?

He's grumpy too?

I think most people will tolerate his grumpiness and choose the man who walked the walk. He will of course then have to let players from outside his Welsh circle in on his special regimes for turning decent League players into International giants Wink

If he's ambitious and wants The Lions to win then the inevitable trips to Poland will take place for the touring party. The English, Irish and Scots will get to see where all the magic happens Wink

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Post by thebluesmancometh Mon 19 Mar 2012 - 18:32

I am a huge fan of his, and I remember the AI's of 2010 when all were calling for him to go I had an inkling of where he was heading and what he was doing. He was perfecting a style of play to compete at the world cup and it almost came good.

That said I'd want him on the tour about as much as I'd want Hartley, Barrit or Botha. It's nothing to do with him, he has the experience, nous and desire but for me he is not and never will be a lion. But then I'm probably a dull old crone, and am stuck in my ways.

I'll be going on the next tour, and cannot wait. I'm sure whoever leads the team they'll have so much weaponary at their disposal it won't matter!!!

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Post by SecretFly Mon 19 Mar 2012 - 18:43

"Hartley, Barrit or Botha"?

The English lads that had a hand in destroying our scrum? And to think we're giving out to ourselves for hiring too many foreigners in the Provinces. Maybe we should just slide a green shirt onto them. Wink

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Post by TycroesOsprey Mon 19 Mar 2012 - 18:44

He is the best man for the job but as a Welsh fan I dont want him to get it. As HERSH alludes to Henry lost the changing room with the Welsh team because of teh Lions tour in 2001 I dont want to see that happen again.

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Post by SecretFly Mon 19 Mar 2012 - 18:46

TycroesOsprey wrote:He is the best man for the job but as a Welsh fan I dont want him to get it. As HERSH alludes to Henry lost the changing room with the Welsh team because of teh Lions tour in 2001 I dont want to see that happen again.

Why? Well I know why but is that more a player issue than a 'right man for the job' issue?

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Post by thebluesmancometh Mon 19 Mar 2012 - 18:47

If Barrit had a hand in destroying your scrum you are definately doing it wrong Fly Laugh

Botha is a bit of a powerhouse but Hartley is a weak link in the English front row.

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Post by SecretFly Mon 19 Mar 2012 - 18:49

I think they had Farrell in there towards the end, shunting us back Wink

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Post by HERSH Mon 19 Mar 2012 - 18:50

Wow Bluesman!

We agree on something Hartley is the weakest link.
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Post by SecretFly Mon 19 Mar 2012 - 18:51

...and a vampire....

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Post by Guest Mon 19 Mar 2012 - 18:52

I think Hartley just needs a big challenge like this. He could really get his teeth into a Lions tour.

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Post by thebluesmancometh Mon 19 Mar 2012 - 18:53

HERSH

We've agreed on plenty tonight, Robshaw = clubman, Preistland playing poorly.

TBH mate the back row could've taken a shower at half time and Ireland still would've been walked off their own ball.

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Post by thebluesmancometh Mon 19 Mar 2012 - 18:55

Fly

Carefull Drool

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Post by TycroesOsprey Mon 19 Mar 2012 - 18:55

1.Jenkins
2.Rees
3. Jones
4. Gray
5. Charteris
6. Ferris
7. Warburton (c)
8. Denton
9. Phillips
10. Sexton/Farrell
11. Cuthbert
12. Roberts
13. Tuilagi
14. North
15. Foden/Halfpenny

I know theres a way to go but at the moment thats my team.

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Post by HERSH Mon 19 Mar 2012 - 18:58

I wouldn't start both Cuthbert and North, Bowe would get into my team.
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Post by SecretFly Mon 19 Mar 2012 - 19:01

Bowe wouldn't get into mine........... needs to go back to school on his continuous handling errors, a major fault in a very effective/productive scoreboard player.

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Post by thebluesmancometh Mon 19 Mar 2012 - 19:02

I'd actually put North at FB and Bowe on the wing, but I'd def need a ballplayer in midfeild instead of Tuilagi. Otherwise you could have 3 Jonah lomus out wide and they'd go a tour without a touch of the ball, alla Flutey in the last tour.

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Post by thebluesmancometh Mon 19 Mar 2012 - 19:03

Or in another bold move North at 13 and Kearney at FB, maybe Tuilagi at 12 too.

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Post by TycroesOsprey Mon 19 Mar 2012 - 19:04

Norths kick return is apalling, its somthing he has worked on and he is better but still pants.

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Post by TycroesOsprey Mon 19 Mar 2012 - 19:05

I think fb is between Kearney Halfpenny and Foden but if sexton is ten you dont need hps kicking

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Post by Shifty Mon 19 Mar 2012 - 19:14

TycroesOsprey wrote:Norths kick return is apalling, its somthing he has worked on and he is better but still pants.

I wouldn't worry he will be a center before long anyway, with his build he will soon lose his teenage speed.
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Post by doctornickolas Mon 19 Mar 2012 - 19:15

I can't agree with any lions team without Lydiate in it and JD2 at the moment. Probably 2 of the first names on the Wales team sheet at the moment and and they were both head and shoulders the best in their positions in this 6 nations. Not really sure what Tuilagi has done to get the 13 shirt ahead of him.

Foden for me is currently behind Halfpenny, Kearney and Hogg. He had a couple of shockers in the first 2 games and didn't do much after that.


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Post by Notch Mon 19 Mar 2012 - 21:28

TycroesOsprey wrote:1.Jenkins
2.Rees
3. Jones
4. Gray
5. Charteris
6. Ferris
7. Warburton (c)
8. Denton
9. Phillips
10. Sexton/Farrell
11. Cuthbert
12. Roberts
13. Tuilagi
14. North
15. Foden/Halfpenny

I know theres a way to go but at the moment thats my team.

Good team, would start Rory Best in front row and definitely have Farrell over Johnny Sexton but you have the right idea OK
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Post by Biltong Mon 19 Mar 2012 - 21:38

I'd actually put North at FB and Bowe on the wing, but I'd def need a ballplayer in midfeild instead of Tuilagi. Otherwise you could have 3 Jonah lomus out wide and they'd go a tour without a touch of the ball, alla Flutey in the last tour.


Or in another bold move North at 13 and Kearney at FB, maybe Tuilagi at 12 too.

Bluesman, I am all for experimentation, but don't you think it is dangerous to have too many players out of position?
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Post by SecretFly Mon 19 Mar 2012 - 21:45

I say wait for the tours....................... the Six Nations has been an in-house smash-up. The true test will be further down the line.

France (as a team) have been rubbish as a test guide for better things. Ireland (as a team) have been rubbish as a test guide for better things; and Wales and England overcame both of them to be first and second in the Six Nations.

Good beginning not nearly enough to be planning Lions sides.

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Post by The Great Aukster Mon 19 Mar 2012 - 22:04

Gatland is the natural choice and the best candidate. I don't expect many (if any!) Irish players though as he dislikes them so much. It will be interesting to see whether:
1. He picks a predominately Welsh team, (using the same thinking ala Ospreys GS08) to stick with what he knows.
or
2. He picks non-welsh players on 50-50 calls to ease the pressure on the Wales squad and reduce injury for the important 2014 year. That could really get be divisive in the Welsh changing room though.

He's a decent coach but inept in front of the camera so he might need some carefully chosen help to avoid the kind of media gaffes the Aussies are waiting to hear.

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Post by fa0019 Mon 19 Mar 2012 - 22:11

The only problem I could see is that there would be a lot of incentives for him to be biased towards his own Welsh players in terms of selection, both for the squad and for the test matches.

This isn't a slight at Gatland himself, rather the unique job.

Firstly being lions coach would have its problems after the tour if he returns to Wales thereafter.

Forget about current form, lets say he picks Youngs instead of Phillips for the scrumhalf berth... how will this change his relationship with Phillips when he returns to Wales... will he go back to telling him and the other Welsh players that failed to tour/test that they're superior to their these players they lost out to 6 months earlier in the 2014 6N?

Will this give him an incentive to chose Phillips over Youngs.... yes.

Also, he and everyone knows that most player grow on lions tours, they're unique and good players often return as great players. Given this there is much incentive to limit the number of players from the home nations and take as many of his own as possible.

Now you could argue the above wouldn't happen and that he is above this...

yet the last time a coach of the lions was a current home nations head coach... this very thing happened.

Graham Henry may have almost won the series in 2001 but his selection choices were awful and they only got to where they were because they were probably the most talented group of players a lions tour had assembled in years.

Wales came last in the 6N out of the home nations but somehow made up the 2nd largest contingent of players on the tour... now how did this happen if selections were made on form????

Players like past greats such as Scott Gibbs, Dai Young and Neil Jenkins should never have been allowed near the squad.. players like Charvis and Martyn Williams were way out of their depth at the time and certainly Charvis' inclusion proved a very costly mistake.

This issue was highlighted by Martin Johnson in his autobiography.. perhaps a slight of his own due to personal differences and the pain of a series loss but given the man isn't known for not telling it how it is it and the many off field issues the squad dealt with it does seem the concerns had some merit.

Is it any coincidence that the last 2 coaches were not current 6N coaches immediately after Henry's 01 tour?

He does seem to be well qualified for the job however but any selection of the coach and his subsequent coaches need to be chosen with caution.

fa0019

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Post by Taylorman Tue 20 Mar 2012 - 7:19

fa0019 wrote:
Is it any coincidence that the last 2 coaches were not current 6N coaches immediately after Henry's 01 tour?

No more a coincidence than the fact that with less than 20 minutes to go Henrys side were tied for the series in the deciding test albeit with a poorly selected side.

The two tours since... both with supposedly better selected teams... had to wait the final week or two to play dead rubbers.

The reality is the Lions coach isnt familiar with the playing abilities of 3 of the four countries available apart from what they see on the field. They havnt coached them, got to know them and ridden the highs and lows with them so they will have a natural tendency to trust what they know...kiwi coach or not.

The major reason for the lions success here in 71 will be because the team was welsh coached, captained and formed most of the team. The team was essentially Wales+. Not saying its best to be deliberately biased towards your own but there are obvious advantages in it.

Whoever the coach is will find himself in that position. Gatland is by far the obvious choice for the above reasons.

Appreciate your point about treading carefully but what does that really mean? How does that transpire into anything meaningful. Assuming Gatlands not an idiot in the end it comes down to putting trust in someone who can do the job best.

For me this team should be- based on current form a welsh/ english led + side with the best of Ireland and Scotland in key positions.

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